There is nothing more emotionally devastating than
the death of one’s own child. When Nancy Geller’s two-year old son died, she
had no religious resources on which to draw. Her search for meaning is a
pilgrimage from despair to hope and from science to faith and proves to be a
profoundly moving read.
Beyond Goodbye is an
exploration of life, death, and life-after-death. In 1996, Nancy Geller’s
two-year old son drowned. She was devastated. A nominal Jew, she found no
comfort from either her religious tradition or the funeral ritual. Her medical training also offered her no
solace or any hope. When her five-year old daughter began asking question about
ghosts and claimed to see her deceased brother, Geller began to wonder if
perhaps there was not something to life-after-death after all. Her medical
training left her no doubt that death was the physical end, but what about a
spirit or a soul? Could some part of a person continue to exist after the body
dies? Her research into life-after-death is a logical exploration of this
topic. She explores the whole spectrum of the topic, but she is not easily
swayed by new age gurus or by traditional religion. Her search is one that is
logical and scientific whenever possible.
I found this book to be an
excellent overview of the topic. Geller’s approach is logical and scientific.
She struggles with her medical training and her faith does not come easily. She
review sources and details each one’s strength and weaknesses. Her logical
assessment of her resources and her own developing beliefs is often times
brutal. She admits when she reaches dead ends and when her logic fails her.
Even though the reader is well aware that the author wants to find proof in
life-after-death as a means of hope, her logical searching and scientific
testing of theories is still very honest. She is seeking real hope, not pie in
the sky comfort. I found her search and her struggle very real and quite
Nancy Geller is a physician. She received her medical degrees from
New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. She did her residence in internal
medicine at Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine. Her husband is a
former Navy doctor. She is a mother of six children (five still living) and
currently lives with her husband and children in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Beyond Goodbye is a deeply moving, profound,
and logical book. It may be too emotionally devastating for some one in the
midst of grief, but can be very comforting for some one well beyond the crisis
of bereavement. With its many cited and critiqued resources, it is not only a
reader’s guide to the literature, but a wonderful beginning place or
springboard for some one interested in exploring some aspect of the existence
of life after death. I definitely
recommend this book.
© 2002 Su Terry
Su Terry: Education:
B.A. in History from Sacred Heart University, M.L.S. in Library Science from
Southern Connecticut State College, M.R.S. in Religious Studies/Pastoral
Counseling from Fairfield University, a M.Div. in Professional Ministry from
New Brunswick Theological Seminary, a Certificate in Spirituality/Spiritual
Direction from Sacred Heart University. She is a Licensed Minister of the
United Church of Christ and an Assistant Professor in Library Science at
Dowling College, Long Island, NY. Interests in Mental Health: She is interested
in the interplay between psychology, biology, and mysticism. Her current area of
research is in the impact of hormonal fluctuation in female Christian mystics.
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